Sports

The Torch
10:15 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Place All Metal Objects In The Tray, Please... Oh, Hi Kobe!

As Team USA basketball player Kobe Bryant passed through a security checkpoint Friday, British soldiers were moved to relax a ban on photography in the area.
Vickie Walton-James NPR

We ran into USA Men's basketball at the security sweep today. Yes, even big-time basketball players and coaches must suffer the indignity of the magnetometer. We were all making our way through security into the Main Press Center, where the team was about to meet journalists.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, coach Mike Krzyzewski and much of the rest of the team seemed to have little trouble getting screened. Assistant coach Nate McMillan may have forgotten to empty his pockets, because he got the pat-down.

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The Torch
9:25 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Lighting The Olympic Cauldron, And Angry Fans

This sculpture of a skeletal gymnast stands in London's Olympic Village, where athletes are preparing for today's Opening Ceremony. If you think it's weird, you're not alone.
Alexander Hassenstein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:57 pm

Good morning. Today's lone public Olympic event is the Opening Ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. EDT. NBC will not air the broadcast until the evening, however, at 7:30 p.m. in all time zones. We'll have a post later about that issue, and how you can watch. For now, here's a rundown of news items:

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Poetry
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Honoring The Games, And The Past, With Poetry

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:34 pm

In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.

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Sports
2:56 am
Wed April 11, 2012

New Season, New Owners For Los Angeles Dodgers

The L.A. Dodgers stand on the third baseline during the national anthem on opening day at Dodger Stadium. They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-1, on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 9:31 am

It was a sold out game on a pure Southern California day.

"Isn't this beautiful? Blue sky, not a cloud in the air, nice little breeze," said Maury Wills, who was the Dodgers shortstop in 1962. "It's warm Southern California."

Wills joined a bunch of his old teammates Tuesday to celebrate Dodger Stadium's 50th anniversary. It's also the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys. So they sang the national anthem after "Surfer Girl."

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Here's How And Why Bubba Watson Hit The Shot That Won The Masters

Bubba Watson hitting the hook that effectively won the Masters Tournament.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images
  • Jaime Diaz on Watson's swing
  • Jaime Diaz on how Watson learned to do that
  • Jaime Diaz on Watson's ADD

Hours and hours of hitting little plastic golf balls and learning to make them twist and turn and bend and bounce in almost any direction.

That's one reason why golfer Bubba Watson was able to hit a shot Sunday that most duffers could never make — and do it to win this year's Masters Tournament.

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Sports
3:04 am
Wed April 4, 2012

U.S. Rhythmic Gymnastics Star Readies For London

Rhythmic gymnast Julie Zetlin, seen here during last October's Pan-American Games, hopes to win a medal for the United States at the Summer Olympics in London.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

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All Things Considered
5:00 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

A Growing Number of Roller Derby Fans "Follow the Star" in New Hampshire

Granite State Roller Derby (in blue and silver) and New Hampshire Roller Derby on the flat track.
(Kevin Pillsbury/courtesy New Hampshire Roller Derby)

There’s a big showdown going on this weekend in the world of flat track roller derby. A New Hampshire team known as the Skate Free or Die All Stars are heading to New York for a bout billed as the Suburban Brawl.

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Sweetness And Light
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Watching College Basketball's Slump Into Anonymity

Duke freshman Austin Rivers, seen here in the Blue Devils' loss to Lehigh in the NCAA tournament, is leaving school for the NBA draft. The trend of athletes spending only one year in college has hurt the sport, says Frank Deford.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:31 am

This year's Final Four seems more like Best in Show at the Westminster. Such pedigree: Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville –– four of the very top dogs in the history of the sport. Well, it's a Meryl Streep kind of year, isn't it?

But if the Final Four might delight fans by giving them aristocracy in its teams, unfortunately the whole of college basketball is plagued by anonymity in its players, and external issues that have diminished the popularity of the game.

Good grief. This year, there has been more buzz about Mad Men than about March Madness.

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Reporter's Notebook
4:43 am
Wed March 21, 2012

A Nation Stands Together For A Fallen Soccer Player

Blackburn Rovers players wear T-shirts in support of Bolton Wanderers' midfielder Fabrice Muamba.
Paul Ellis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:43 pm

Last weekend, English soccer fans were looking forward to a sporting feast. They ended up taking part in a nationwide communal vigil, focused on an African player's fight for life.

Something extraordinary is happening here.

It started in a sports stadium in London on Saturday. A big crowd had gathered there to watch two English teams, Tottenham and Bolton, do battle in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

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Race
12:01 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Voters May Break Up Fight Over 'Fighting Sioux'

The University of North Dakota's Brad Eidsness makes a save during a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Since 2005, there have been a series of lawsuits and legislative actions over the nickname for the school's athletic teams, the "Fighting Sioux."
Josh Holmberg AP

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:34 am

The state Supreme Court in North Dakota is about to consider this question: Can lawmakers require a college to name its sports teams after a Native American tribe?

For decades, University of North Dakota teams have been known as the "Fighting Sioux." It's a name some see as an honor and others find demeaning. Now, the long fight over the Fighting Sioux may be settled in a courtroom.

2,400 Logos And A 'Vexing' Dispute

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Sports
12:01 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Murray State Racers Fans Revved Up Over NCAA

Murray State fans celebrate a 3-point shot by Murray State's Donte Poole during the first half of a game St. Mary's on Feb. 18. Since January, every Racers home game has sold out.
Stephen Lance Dennee AP

On the Murray State University campus in Kentucky, warm weather has arrived. Students are out on the quad skateboarding, riding bikes, playing Frisbee and listening to music. But what are they talking about? Basketball.

"I think Murray State can go to the Final Four," one student says.

The MSU Racers have been in the tournament before, but with just a single loss this season and the highest tournament seed in the program's history, expectations are greater than ever.

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Sports
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

An American Soccer Coach In Egypt's National Court

The Egyptian national soccer team's American coach, Bob Bradley, attends his team's friendly match against Kenya in the Qatari capital, Doha, in February. The Egyptian team won 5-0.
Karim Jaafar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 12:24 pm

Anti-Americanism is on the rise in Egypt these days. A highly publicized trial is under way in Cairo against U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups, and Egyptians are making it clear they reject any American involvement in their country's affairs.

There's one exception, however: an American living in Cairo whom Egyptians are counting on to shake things up. His name is Bob Bradley, and he's the New Jersey-born coach of Egypt's struggling national soccer team.

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Sweetness And Light
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Calling Foul: In Basketball, Crunch Time Goes Limp

In the closing minutes of a game last month, Purdue University's Robbie Hummel was fouled by Penn State's Matt Glover. College basketball needs to find ways to make its games' final moments more exciting, says Frank Deford.
Michael Conroy AP

One thing that distinguishes most team sports is that the game is suddenly played differently at the end. Often, this adds to the fascination, too. Nothing, for example, gets a rise out of me like when the hockey goalie skates off the ice with a minute or so to go, his team down a goal, leaving an open net.

In championship soccer, tie games go to a shoot-out, which is totally alien with all that came before. Neat stuff.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
1:18 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

There's no "home-school" in TEAM... or is there?

Photo by Pierre Vignau, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Making it to the NBA or any pro sports league is an expensive, potentially dangerous undertaking with extremely tough odds.  For homeschooled kids, the likelihood of a career in sports is especially tough. For years, many states barred kids from outside the public school system from playing on their athletic teams. Now, 25 states allow homeschooled students onto varsity teams, signaling a change in attitudes -  along with more room for debate on whether and how to integrate them.

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Sports
4:00 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

UNH Looks For Turnaround in Hockey East Opener

After a sometimes challenging regular season, the University of New Hampshire Wildcats mens team play their first round games in the Hockey East tournament this weekend.

Allen Lessels covers sports for the Union Leader. He recaps the Wildcats' season and previews this weekend's tournament with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.

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